Some Parents of Large Families Strike Back at Critics


Not too long ago we featured the fact that parents of large families have come under fire for having so many kids and the impact that has on the environment. Let’s face it, the more children one has, the more people there are to consume resources and put a strain on the planet. But The Guardian has an interesting article interviewing several large families in the UK about their situation, and I thought it was interesting to see where they’re coming from…

Take the Corbet family for example, they grow their own vegetables, they compost their waste, they're avid freecyclers, most of their clothes are second-hand, and to reduce their carbon footprint they don't drive anywhere on Fridays. In almost every way, the Corbets are a model green family, but as mom Angie puts it "We've got five kids." She goes on to point out, “And as far as some people are concerned, that completely negates everything else you do to reduce your impact on the planet's resources." She also resents the fact that
she's persona non grata in the green circles around her home in Wimborne, Dorset, arguing that “…when people reach a certain level of education they tend to choose to have fewer children. And since that means some people in our society are choosing to have fewer than two per couple, that means there's the scope for some people to have more." She says that larger families have to live more frugally than the couple next door with two kids who spend like crazy on all kinds of items, many of which are completely unnecessary and bad for the planet.
Now the Corbet family seems actively engaged in the green movement, walking the talk in many ways but one… Others in the article spent their time extolling the virtues of large families, and making various arguments in support of them. They often pointed to the idea that smaller families just spend more per person, negating much of the planetary benefits of having fewer children as that reason that having more is not an issue. Of course long term the children in a larger family will quite possibly grow up to move out and consume resources at a higher rate than they did when limited financial resources dictated a reduced environmental footprint. But the question that intrigues me is how readers of TH feel about the whole situation. In essence, would you rather see the family next door have 5 kids while behaving like the Corbets in every other way, or prefer to see them have just 2 kids of their own while spending like crazy and doing nothing else to reduce their environmental footprint? It seems like an interesting dilemma to me…

via:: The Guardian